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Published: 20 Jun, 2018

This year’s honorary doctors at the Faculty of Arts

NEWS This year, three internationally well-reputed researchers will become honorary doctors at the Faculty of Arts: Thomas DuBois, Gabriele Griffin and Sam Wineburg. They will be conferred a doctor’s degree at the university’s annual ceremony in October.

Professor Thomas (Tom) DuBois (b. 1960) is Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. In his research, he focuses on folklore (in particular, popular beliefs) and identity in the Nordic countries, primarily within the Finnish, Sami and Swedish cultures. He has published important books such as “Finnish Folk Poetry and the Kalevala”, “Nordic Religions in the Viking Age”, “Finnish Folklore” (together with Leea Virtanen), “Lyric, Meaning and Audience in the Oral Tradition of Northern Europe” and “An Introduction to Shamanism”. DuBois has also done a new English translation of Johan Turi’s important book “Berättelser om samerna” (Muitalu sámiid birra) (English: approx. “Stories about the Sami people”) which is now being published. He is currently involved in working on a Comparative History of Nordic Literary Cultures.

Thomas DuBois has cooperated with researchers at Umeå University since 1992 – as lecturer, symposium participant and teacher at postgraduate level. DuBois is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Northern Studies (Umeå) and was one of the initiators behind the setting-up of a Nordic branch of the American Folklore Society, which has strongly promoted contacts between researchers in the Nordic countries and the USA.

For more information or for an interview, please contact Tom DuBois tel +1 011 608 236 4116 or email

Professor Gabriele Griffin b. 1957) has a background in English literature and is Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of York, Great Britain. Griffin has worked at a number of British universities including the University of York, the University of Hull, Kingston University and the University of Leicester. She has held leading posts as Professor of English, Gender Studies and Women’s Studies. Alongside her academic research, she has also had a large number of important evaluation and assessment assignments within the EU. Griffin is one of the authors of the METRIS Report: Emerging Trends in the Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities in Europe. She is the editor of the series Research Methods for the Arts and Humanities and was one of the founders of the journal Feminist Theory.

Griffin has been visiting professor at the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies since 2009 and she is a member of the international reference group for the Centre of Excellence programme Challenging Gender. She cooperates actively with humanistic researchers in book projects, research applications, and supervision.

For more information or for an interview, please contact Gabriele Griffin
tel 090-6896904 or email

Professor Sam Wineburg (b. 1958) works at Stanford University, USA, and is a world-leading researcher within the field of historical thinking and history education. He has contributed more than any other individual researcher to changing the understanding of the teaching and learning of history. His prize-winning book “Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts” from 2002 has become a modern classic within its field. Wineburg has a PhD in psychology but his research lies in the border zone between education, psychology and history. He has been Professor of Education at Stanford School of Education since 2002 where he leads the Stanford History Education Group. However, he is also Professor of History at the Department of History. Sam Wineburg has put his research findings into practice via teacher training programmes and school education. One example is “Reading Like a Historian” which is a free, digital teaching aid that aims to develop pupils’ historical thinking with the help of historical sources.

Sam Wineburg already has connections with the Faculty of Arts via the research programme Media Places, based at HUMlab.

For more information or for an interview, please contact Sam Wineburg
tel + 1 2063561152 or email

For more information about the appointment of honorary doctors, please contact Professor Britta Lundgren, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, tel 070-65168 22 or email